Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally — Alarming evidence points out trans fats and saturated fats are responsible for heart disease and by taking a few simple precautions you can easily cut these unhealthy hidden ingredients from your diet today.
Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to a liquid fat to help it solidify, a process food manufacturers started using to extend the shelf life of packaged baked goods. Today however, public pressure has forced the food industry to rid our foods of trans fats but they haven’t vanished entirely.
Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital says “the first thing we do when I am counseling patients is to go over all the sources of trans fats in their diet and make substitutions.”
To avoid eating trans fats look over the labels on food packages very closely before adding to your shopping cart. Even if you see “partially hydrogenated” in the list of ingredients, place it back on the shelf. And when in restaurants don’t shy away from asking the cook what they use. Fried foods (gorengan) are common in Bali and if you have doubt about the oil being used, you may wish avoid them all together when away from your own kitchen.
Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol, which are derived primarily from animal products, aren’t heart-healthy but small amounts won’t kill you. McManus says that because eggs are such a valued source of nutrients, it’s okay to have as many as four yolks a week and whites as often as you like. She also gives a nod to red meat, shrimp, lobster, high-fat cheeses, butter, and organ meats, but only small portions of each every other week.
Look for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL. Most plant-derived oils, including canola, safflower, sunflower, olive, grape seed, and peanut oils, contain both. Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, and mackerel), seeds, nuts, avocados and soybeans are also great sources. And the good news — all of the above are prevalent in Bali supermarkets.
Colorful fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have loads of ingredients that lower cholesterol and including fiber, cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols, and eye-appealing pigments. The heart-healthy list spans the color spectrum: leafy greens, yellow squashes, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, and blueberries. As a rule, the richer the hue, the better the food is for you. Take an afternoon and head to the highlands of Bedugal to load up on brightly colored fresh produce.
Say no to refined sugars and grains
Whole grains are another good source of fiber. Instead of refined flour and white rice, try whole-wheat flour and brown or wild rice also found in abundance in Bali. Old-fashioned oatmeal is also a good choice, but don’t be fooled by the quick-cooking versions, which have had much of the quality fiber processed out.
And don’t substitute sugar for fat. “It’s one of the worst choices you can make,” McManus warns. Food manufacturers may boost the sugar content of low-fat salad dressings and sauces to add flavor. If you see sugar, corn syrup, or any word ending in “ose” near the top of the list of ingredients, choose a higher-fat version without trans fats instead. Or, just make your own fresh dressing.